People need one day to talk like Pirates

Last Friday was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Its function goes without saying, but there was a story behind it.

On June 6, 1995, John Baur and Mark Summers (no, not the “Super Sloppy Double Dare” guy — that was Marc) engaged in a simple game of racquetball. Like the silly people they were, they began shouting remarks to each other. Eventually, the comments evolved with an accent a pirate would use if he were to play racquetball. At the end of the day, their substandard performances were overshadowed by the amusing pirate slang. It wasn’t long before they realized they should do this one day a year.

After a while, they contacted “real” humor columnist Dave Barry about their invention. He was convincingly sold on the idea. After his column in 2002, the holiday instantly became the fourth most popular holiday in the United States — behind Christmas, Thanksgiving and Sweetest Day.

This holiday was bound to happen sooner or later. Just observe the facts: Pirates are some of the more vile humans, but being a pirate is the most favored occupation of one-legged people who like parrots. Last year’s Super Bowl was between the Buccaneers and the Raiders. This past summer, Johnny Depp made both scurvy and wearing lots of jewelry extremely sexy.

So-called “music pirates” are in danger. The scoundrels from the Record Industry Association of America are threatening any lazy bum who illegally downloads Flock of Seagulls to walk the plank. I can’t blame them. If these music-loving swashbucklers don’t stop sharing music files among themselves, musicians such as Kid Rock might not be able to afford three meals a day, and he will become pale and malnourished. Then again, the term “music piracy” should have never been coined, because it makes the process look too cool. If they wanted to avoid this illegal activity, they should have called it “music terrorism.” Instead, it’s piracy, and on this day our dialogue should reflect that.

Therefore, I tried to encourage all instructors last Friday to give their lectures in pirate dialect. This ultimately kept the hungover guys in the back row awake and interested in their introductory course. They cut off the bottom of their pant legs and assembled crude eye patches and armbands, while I shouted out “shiver me timbers” for no apparent reason. The official website ( had many more beneficial tidbits. I shall now conclude this brief public service announcement in my best pirate script:

“So, if ye be one of me hearties, ye best be keen to speak like a true swashbuckler. Be ye but a cowardly landlubber, it’s Davy Jones’s locker for ye. Avast with ye treacherous ways! Spread the word to all the lads and lasses that today ye shall be a man of the sea. Talk Like a Pirate Day has no place for filthy scallywags. So, swab the deck before ye be on your way. Arrh!”